The Supreme Court yesterday ordered a lower court to rehear the appeal of an April 2014 sentence against the manager of the Giant Ocean recruiting firm, who was found guilty of human trafficking and ordered to pay $2,000 to $15,000 to 74 victims.
The former manager of the now-defunct firm, Lin Yu-shin, was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Both she and her victims appealed the decision, but the Appeal Court in April 2015 upheld the sentence and the compensation.
Yet Supreme Court presiding Judge Kim Sathavy said the Appeal Court had erred in upholding the decision, given that at least 200 people say they fell victim to Giant Ocean.
“The case has to be returned to the Appeal Court to be tried again since the decision of the Appeal Court was not right. The compensation has not been settled yet,” Judge Sathavy said.
It was estimated at the time of the trial that there may have been up to 1,000 workers who were enslaved after being recruited by Giant Ocean. Many said they were told their salaries had been paid to Lin.
The lawyer for the 215 victims, Kea Saphal, said yesterday more victims were still coming forward and that the municipal court’s original decision on the compensation had been inconsistent and inadequate.
“The court ordered the company to compensate the victims unequally,” Saphal said.
The “important” thing Saphal said, was the $100,000 deposited by Giant Ocean to the Labour Ministry when it registered in Cambodia, which some of the victims have said should be used as compensation.